I’m usually one of many words, but I don’t have a lot to say right now, because I don’t really know what to say.
As you may or may not know, I graduated from Hampton University in May. Upon graduation, I decided to continue my education and pursue my Master’s Degree. As I’ve previously said, I went to an HBCU for undergrad. My recommendation to college students looking to pursue more than one degree: go to an HBCU for one degree, and a PWI for the other – for the benefit of having both experiences. I’d never recommend anything I, myself wouldn’t do, which is why I decided on Syracuse University in Upstate New York for my second degree. Why I chose it and all that good stuff, I’ll save for a rainy (or snowy) day. I’m writing, today, to discuss the one fear of mine while attending a Predominately White Institution:
Now, of course everywhere you go, there’s racism, but I’m talking blatant racism. The kind that’s seen on Netflix’s Dear White People, which I feel like I’ve been trapped in for the last few days. As reported on CNN, within the last week, there has been graffiti spotted on campus twice – once targeting Blacks and another targeting Asians. A few hours ago, a swastika was spotted, drawn in snow outside of an apartment complex where many students reside.
Though I attended an HBCU, I’m no stranger to racism as my first encounter with him was when I was in the first grade. I’m not writing to bash PWIs or its students for not attending HBCUs but this is reality – and it sucks. It’s sad. We’re in a time warp and keep watching history repeat itself. As a PWI student, I’m frustrated that administration doesn’t care and continues to release statements to save face. I don’t feel safe.
“These acts are vile and appalling, and they will not be tolerated,” said Syracuse mayor Ben Walsh.
It’s clear that this is being tolerated, as students have created the hashtag #NotAgainSU, because this obviously isn’t the first time that racist incidents have occurred on this PWI campus, or any. Students have staged a sit-in for the last two consecutive days, which the chancellor attended for five minutes, and left. Last night, students protested the basketball game, resulting in a nearly empty student section.
This university will not sweep this – sweep US – under the rug. I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters fighting for a change. We will continue to protest until change is seen. Stay safe, everyone. Keep your mental health intact. I won’t be here for long, but I, too, demand a more inclusive, safer and overall diverse campus. Our voices won’t be silenced.
Update: this blog was posted two minutes ago and the student body just received yet another email, about yet another incident. Grafitti in a dorm, again targeting the Asian community.